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Lamy: No ambitious Doha result possible unless all parties gain
14
Jun '10
Director-General Pascal, in a statement to the Trade Negotiations Committee on 11 June 2010, said that that while all members are looking to gain more from the Doha Round negotiations, a more ambitious outcome cannot be achieved without a balanced package of benefits across the membership. He said that the challenge is “to aim for high ambition while ensuring balance”.

As mentioned in the convening fax for this meeting, I thought it would be useful for us, in the interest of transparency and inclusiveness, to briefly together review and assess the latest developments in the DDA [Doha Development Agenda].

Before we do so, I would like to share some of my reading with you. I have recently been following stories about the adventures of a fictional character named Pascal Lamy. Apparently this character has all sorts of plans for bold new initiatives, such as imposing horizontal processes in a vertical way. Or a vertical process imposed in a horizontal way. Or fabricating texts which he is supposed to be about to drop on the members any time soon.

I want to assure you that the real Pascal Lamy, whom I know reasonably well, doesn't lead such an exciting life.

As I have always said, I remain completely fully committed to the principle of “no surprises”, as we all are. But if this principle means we need not fear unwelcome surprises, it also means we can't count on happy ones. There is no other way to get to the result we all want than by consistent hard work for as long as it takes.

We have a plan of work in the “cocktail” approach, which we all agreed to follow at the end of our stocktaking in March. We have good ingredients, but they will not mix themselves. This is why the work that is going on here in Geneva at many levels is so important, and I encourage you all to intensify and extend it.

As you are aware, I have recently participated in the annual OECD Ministerial Meeting in Paris at the end of May where a number of Ministers got together for an informal exchange of views on the DDA as well as a broader discussion of the significance of trade opening for the sustainability of the global economic recovery. Last week I participated in the APEC Ministerial Retreat in Sapporo, Japan, where I also had the opportunity to engage informally with a number of Ministers on similar issues.

In my interventions at both meetings I provided Ministers with my personal assessment of where we are in the current negotiations — starting from the bigger picture of the economic background in which we operate. While 2009 was characterized by collapsing trade flows, protectionist pressures and trade financing difficulties, 2010 seems to represent a different scenario with a forecast rebound of trade by nearly 10%. This does by no means indicate that we are out of the woods or have turned the corner.

Many complex and potentially disruptive challenges remain, including very high persistent unemploymentfigures. Thus this is not the time for complacency. However, I stressed that in 2010 trade can be an engine to generate growth and contribute towards the recovery, that the Doha Round is an important economic stimulus package which does not impact upon already stretched budgets — a stimulus package that has a sustainable and lasting impact.

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